Tomb Raider 3 Update Secretly Nukes Lara Croft Pinups [Update: It Was An Accident]

Tomb Raider 3 Update Secretly Nukes Lara Croft Pinups [Update: It Was An Accident]

Well, this is weird. Pinups of Lara Croft appear to have gone missing in Tomb Raider I-III Remastered following a patch earlier this month to fix a bunch of bugs. Whether intentional or not, some fans are now calling it out as heavy-handed censorship of retro classics.

Publisher Aspyr released the game’s second update on April 11 and mentioned a litany of changes, but nothing about up-scaled posters of Lara Croft being removed from the locker room in the Sleeping with the Fishes level for Tomb Raider III: The Lost Artefact. Though they still appear when playing with the original graphics settings on, where they look like pixelated postcards, the walls they’re on are now blank when players switch to the remastered graphics settings.

Their removal was first noticed on the Tomb Raider subreddit, before the discovery began trickling out to other corners of the internet last week. “I thought it was bullshit, but nope, Crystal Dynamics played the OG fans. They censored out the pictures in the update,” tweeted one person. “Updates should never be used to retroactively censor games, it’s a form of theft. Any company that engages in this bait & switch behavior should go bankrupt,” tweeted another. To be clear, the original versions of the posters are still available in the games when played in the 1990s mode.

A warning at the start of the remastered collection informs players that Crystal Dynamics, the studio who no holds the license to the games previously made by Core Design, chose to retain offensive stereotypes and imagery to “acknowledge its harmful impact” rather than erase those parts of the series’ legacy. Neither Crystal Dynamics nor Aspyr seemed to have a problem with the pinups previously. In fact, they were promoted as one of “ten remastered details you might have missed” a week after the collection’s launch.

Shortly after the latest patch removed the posters, NexusMods user Dario108 uploaded a mod to restore them in the PC version of the game. Timur Gagiev, the maker of popular open-source port OpenLara, who ended up working for Aspyr on the remasters, retweeted Dario’s link to the mod without saying anything further. Some took this as a sign that the change was intentional despite some potential disagreement behind the scenes.

Aspyr and Gagiev did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Update 4/23/2024 9:16 a.m. ET: An Aspyr rep posted over on the studio’s website that the posters getting removed was a mistake. “In the recently released Patch 2, we made several texture and graphical updates to the HD version,” it reads. “As part of these updates, the posters in Sleeping With The Fishes (The Lost Artifact) were inadvertently removed in the HD version of the game.” The studio says the issue has been “resolved” and the Lara Croft posters will be restored in the upcoming patch 3.

Correction 4/23/2024 11:51 a.m. ET: The original Tomb Raiders games were made by Core Design.


The Cheapest NBN 1000 Plans

Looking to bump up your internet connection and save a few bucks? Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Kotaku, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


One response to “Tomb Raider 3 Update Secretly Nukes Lara Croft Pinups [Update: It Was An Accident]”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *